Prayer has had a long history of forming one of the healing arts, and indeed the recognition of the role of Hospital Chaplains is well known, as they help people through times of medical crises. More recently, particularly in the setting of hospital-based medicine (and other settings) this modality has been well tested and found to produce favorable results in terms of patient outcomes. Thus, in terms of evidence-based medicine, it is now clear that this modality has a legitimate basis to be included among the healing modalities, or healing arts of medicine.
These favourable outcomes produced under rigorous scientific conditions of study have been produced regardless of, or in spite of, the patient’s own belief systems, using randomly selected groups, and a wide variety of people doing the praying for favourable outcomes for the patients. So far, there is no other scientific explanation for this phenomenon, other than that “prayer seems to work in the settings in which it has been subjected to scientific study”. (Copies of these studies are available from the desk on request for those interested in reviewing the evidence-based Literature on Prayer).
I have been working in the area for over 35 years, and have been refining ways of using prayer.